Patterico's Pontifications

4/14/2012

Yes, 2012 will be (mostly) a referendum on Obama

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 8:29 am

[Posted by Karl]

Liberals are getting increasingly touchy about the looming prospect of voters judging Pres. Obama’s term of office.  They are almost as touchy about those noting that Obama wants to focus his campaign on his opponents, real and imagined, rather than on his record or the economy.

For example, Ed Kilgore found a straw man resembling Jay Cost and proceeded to beat it as thoroughly as Obama has been beating various straw men these past months.  Kilgore claims that “Cost even goes so far as to tell swing voters what they have to care about,” then quotes Jay:

I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the average swing voter does not want to talk about the “war on women,” the Buffett rule, or whatever else Team Obama is going to throw out there in the weeks and months to come. That voter wants to talk about jobs, the economy, the deficit, gas prices, the health care bill–in other words, all the issues where the president is vulnerable.

Those not already in the tank for Obama might notice that Jay is not telling swing voters what to think about, but offering his opinion about what they want to talk about.  Gallup suggests Cost is correct, with their most recent poll showing voters — even Democrats — think healthcare, unemployment, the debt, national defense and terrorism, and gas prices are all more important issues than birth control policy.  Indeed, I doubt Kilgore could find a poll showing any other result (or he would have cited one).

TIME’s Joe Klein has the same complaint, this time with a New Democrat-type:

Bill Galston has a piece in The New Republic listing the reasons why Barack Obama is going to have a tough time winning reelection in November. He’s right about most of them, but wrong about the one at the very top–he buys into the political science mythology that some presidential elections are referendums on the incumbent’s record and others are straight-ahead choices. I’ve seen some elections that are referendums on the President, but those have almost always been Congressional campaigns, like 2010 and 2006 or 1994. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a presidential election that was a pure referendum, and every presidential election I’ve covered involved a choice. There are good reasons for this.

Funny how the so-called “reality-based community” abandons academics when they report findings inconvenient to liberals, ain’t it?  Political scientists will tell you that Presidents get pretty much all the blame on (or credit for) the economy, even with divided government, even in presidential election years.

Plus, Klein’s historical examples as bad as his knowledge of the studies.  Klein claims that “[i]n 1976, Jimmy Carter tried to make the election a referendum on Richard Nixon–and was in the process of failing at that, when Gerald Ford turned in a weak debate performance and saved the election for Carter.”  Political scientist Lynn Varveck explains in her book, The Message Matters, that 1976 was an exceptional year in which Gerald Ford could not successfully campaign on the economy, precisely because Carter could make the contest a referendum on the Nixon era.  Klein then claims:

1988 should have been a referendum on the Reagan presidency–Michael Dukakis surged to an early lead in the polls because people wanted a change, then crashed when he couldn’t answer a debate question about what he’d do if his wife were raped and murdered (We haven’t heard a debate like that in a while).

In reality, 1988 was a referendum on the Reagan presidency — Klein just rejects the result of that referendum.  The outcome in 1988 neatly tracked the result expected from the economy.  Those pesky political scientists would tell Klein early polls are not predictive, if only he would listen.  But he cannot listen.  If he listened, he would have to abandon his fantasy that Dukakis was somehow done in by a lousy debate answer.  (Again, political scientists could tell Klein about the historically small effects that presidential debates have had on general election polls and outcomes. )

If Klein finds regression analyses and scatter plots too difficult, perhaps he can consider public opinion polling.  That’s what William Galston (whom Klein criticizes) did last October:

When a president is running for reelection, the electorate is primarily motivated by its judgment of the incumbent’s job performance. Consider some Pew Research Center data on recent presidential contests.

In the spring of 1992, two-thirds of George H. W. Bush’s supporters said that they would be casting their vote for him rather than against Bill Clinton, while two-thirds of Clinton supporters said their vote reflected opposition to Bush. In the spring of 1996, 60 percent of Clinton’s supporters said they would be voting for him rather than against Bob Dole, while 60 percent of Dole’s supporters said their vote reflected opposition to Clinton. Early in 2004, more than 80 percent of George W. Bush’s supporters were for him rather than against John Kerry, while two-thirds of Kerry’s supporters were motivated by opposition to Bush.

To be sure, these numbers tend to shift during the general election as the contenders become better known. Still, by Election Day in 1996, only 47 percent of Dole’s supporters said that they were casting their vote in his favor rather than against Clinton; by election day in 2004, only 43 percent of Kerry’s supporters said that they were casting an affirmative vote for him.

Now look at the most recent Pew results, which showed Obama in a tie with Mitt Romney. About three-quarters of Obama’s support is for him rather than against Romney, while more than two-thirds of Romney’s supporters say they will cast their votes against Obama rather than for Romney.

In short, the historical data, regardless of type, points to 2012 being primarily a referendum on Obama and the economy.  Galston suggests that in a general election contest against an unpopular incumbent, the main hurdles for the challenger are to appear competent and non-threatening.  Instead of touting his record at every opportunity, Obama seems focused on making Romney seem scary.  But if Carter couldn’t make Reagan seem scary, how successful is Obama likely to be?

–Karl

124 Responses to “Yes, 2012 will be (mostly) a referendum on Obama”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  2. Kilgore was here…

    Colonel Haiku (f48145)

  3. “Next Tuesday all of you will go to the polls; you’ll stand there in the polling place and make a decision. I think when you make that decision, it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were 4 years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was 4 years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was 4 years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were 4 years ago? And if you answer all of those questions yes, why then, I think your choice is very obvious as to who you’ll vote for. If you don’t agree, if you don’t think that this course that we’ve been on for the last 4 years is what you would like to see us follow for the next 4, then I could suggest another choice that you have.”

    - Ronald Reagan

    Are you Better Off Now Than You Were 5 Trillion Dollars Ago?

    Colonel Haiku (f48145)

  4. How can that scary guy Mitt Romney resonate with womyn voters if he has a wife who has never worked a day earning a salary in her life!!!!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. ________________________________________________

    Now look at the most recent Pew results, which showed Obama in a tie with Mitt Romney.

    That President “Goddamn America” should be doing as well as he is right now would be one reason why I, if I were a liberal, might be musing about the upcoming election the way that Joe Klein does. Even more so since the typical person of the left believes his (or her) humaneness, generosity, compassion and sophistication automatically makes one’s assumptions a sign not of hubris (or arrogance) but a sign of great decency and logic.

    Mark (411533)

  6. Reagan’s geniality got him past a lot of hostile rhetoric and Romney’s personality will do the same. Romney an economic plan and I hope they are working on that. He kn owe what to do but must explain it to the products of our public school.

    Mike K (326cba)

  7. the ‘Romney is a super scary extreme right winger’ meme really amuses me.

    How is Obama going to paint the most moderate of the GOP’s primary as an extremist? It’s just plain stupid. Most voters have absorbed the notion that a lot of Republicans wanted a more conservative candidate.

    it’s especially weird that they are trying this right as the GOP primary is settled. It’s fresh in our memories that the meme is wrong.

    Dustin (330eed)

  8. Record of Failure
    Teh Vagina Warriors
    must distract, attack

    Colonel Haiku (f48145)

  9. lib womyns prefer
    sugar-daddy government
    ten to one margin

    Colonel Haiku (f48145)

  10. Zager and Evans
    in year 2525
    Buffett Rule still short!

    Colonel Haiku (f48145)

  11. Dems are anti-science anti-academic DENIERS

    JD (8b4fa9)

  12. angry bird syndrome
    would concealed carry have helped?
    penguin bit Gingrich

    Colonel Haiku (f48145)

  13. Yes, 2012 will be (mostly) a referendum on Obama

    It depends upon the particular demographic group to which you’re making reference.

    For upwards of 95-plus percent of blacks the election neither will be a referendum on Obama nor a referendum on anything else. Blacks will vote for Obama at least by a 95-5 margin strictly on the basis of Obama’s skin color.

    For around 80% of unionized, public-sector employees the election neither will be a referendum on Obama nor a referendum on anything else. Public sector AFSCME and SEIU workers will vote for Obama by a 80-20 margin because that’s what that demographic does. Even as they’re being fired and foreclosed out of their homes they’ll still in lock step vote for the Democrat and against the Republican.

    For the (millions of) evangelical Christians who will stay home and sit out the election it neither will be a referendum on Obama nor a referendum on anything else. That demographic will in large part cast de facto ballots in favor of Obama solely because they categorically will refuse to vote for a Mormon.

    Tsar Nicholas II (89a442)

  14. return in about
    seven months Tsarina
    and we’ll see what’s what

    Colonel Haiku (f48145)

  15. Tsar: I too worry that to many will refuse to vote for Romney, and thus vote Obama. Two friends are absolutely refusing to vote Romney and they’re not religious, certainly not evangelical. I got 7 months to change their minds.

    Alex (31c567)

  16. Hi, Alex.

    Random (fba0b1)

  17. For the (millions of) evangelical Christians who will stay home and sit out the election it neither will be a referendum on Obama nor a referendum on anything else. That demographic will in large part cast de facto ballots in favor of Obama solely because they categorically will refuse to vote for a Mormon.

    I rather doubt that.

    Dustin (330eed)

  18. Agreed Dustin. The numbers who stay home due to mormonism shall be small. Plus people got 7 months to get over it.

    Alex (31c567)

  19. Not voting for Romney does not equal voting for Teh One. That is a BS construct.

    JD (8b4fa9)

  20. Not voting for Romney does not equal voting for Teh One. That is a BS construct.

    Comment by JD — 4/14/2012 @ 11:32 am

    No, not precisely, small-minded one. But it means doing nothing to stop Obama from being reelected, packing the federal bench and Supreme Court with liberals, etc.

    Random (fba0b1)

  21. Snort my taint, Random

    JD (8b4fa9)

  22. I think JD may be an O supporter, he’s got the tactics down pat. :-)

    Alex (31c567)

  23. You should have quit after “I think”, Alex.

    JD (8b4fa9)

  24. See, he’s got Alinsky down cold! Good job JD!

    Alex (31c567)

  25. Random,

    Well played in your comments to JD, but you have to remember that the Ron Paul Brigade of Pots and Pans Bangers have never heard of the old addage about “‘perfect’ being the enemy of the ‘good enough.’”
    On the other hand, perhaps they’ve actually heard of it, but they simply reject it.

    The paleoconservatives are not interested in actually stopping left wing kooks such as Obama as much as they’re obsessed with exclusively voting for “the perfect candidate” as they perceive it.

    Of course, in real life, we ALL have to settle for “good enough” rather than “perfect,” whether it’s the job we take, the house we buy, the woman who will agree to marry us, or even having to settle for our “second choice” movie at the local Cineplex when our first choice movie is sold out by the time we arrive at the ticket window.

    The paleoconservatives will settle for “good enough” when it comes to choosing a variety of goods and services in their everyday lives…but when it comes to voting for President, they’d rather have Obama than Romney.

    Of course, in my book, someone who prefers Obama to Romney is what is referred to as “a liberal.”

    (I have other names for them, but this is a family website, and it’s a Saturday !)

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  26. Evangelicals are very much of the “anyone but Obama” sentiment. They will come out; they will vote.

    Icy (c05b13)

  27. 25 = love! Thank you

    Alex (31c567)

  28. Referring again to my 11:02 am comment, I’m glad you liked it, Alex.

    Random (fba0b1)

  29. This is funny. I am a Paulbot, a paleocon, and a Obama supporter.

    JD (8b4fa9)

  30. cuz he’s a joker
    a smoker… midnight toker
    does votin’ on run

    Colonel Haiku (f48145)

  31. lib womyns prefer
    sugar-daddy government
    ten to one margin
    Comment by Colonel Haiku — 4/14/2012 @ 9:37 am

    – It is, what’s the word? ironic (better yet, pathetic) how the “I am womyn, hear me roar” crowd insist on achieving so-called “equality” by demanding patronage from the patriarchy. But then, this is why they line up so well with your basic Marxist types: you don’t need A man when you have THE government to support you.

    Gee, it might lead one to conclude that conservative businesswomen are the truly liberated ones, eh?

    Icy (c05b13)

  32. JD is like a slot machine . . . just hoping for a 3-cherry lineup.

    Icy (c05b13)

  33. people of good will
    put differences aside
    send Teh Won packing

    Colonel Haiku (f48145)

  34. I don’t like to gamble too much, Icy. And when I do, I like to bet on the position that is consistent with past performance.

    JD (8b4fa9)

  35. You will know them by their works and the company they keep:

    http://t.co/TRzdLXeS

    Colonel Haiku (f48145)

  36. Icy,

    You heard it from the horse’s ass’ mouth—JD claims he bets on past performance.

    If that’s true, then his lack of urgency to see the Obama Administration kicked to the curb is an implicit admission that JD doesn’t perceive the Obama Administration to be particularly distasteful, based on Obama’s “past performance.”

    JD prefers Barack Obama to Mitt Romney.
    So does Paul Krugman, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, George Soros, and George Clooney !

    Oh, but wait…JD wants you to know that doesn’t mean he’s not a “liberal” !

    …yeah, and neither is George Soros !

    What a goofball.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  37. You are almost cute, stoner.

    JD (8b4fa9)

  38. Col @ #35,

    Maher is exploiting a cancer surviving white woman who stayed home to raise her five sons and is fighting MS. Ultimately, he’s just trying to make a buck but apparently can’t do it on his own merits.

    Heh.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  39. As a bonus for Patterico readers:

    Jay Cost reminds me on Twitter that the whole “choice not referendum” argument ignores a 30 year, 99% correlation between job approval and vote choice in exit polls. He also reminds me of what he wrote about 2004.

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  40. Karl – like I said, they are anti-science deniers.

    JD (8b4fa9)

  41. JD,

    You’re the former all-star outfielder with bad knees, slow wheels, and a bad contract that a major league team can’t trade away. So they send you out to grand openings of supermarkets and autograph sessions at Macy’s to capitalize on your talents of…ten years ago.

    Everyone in the bleachers knows that you are past your prime, and that the future belongs to the snarky up-and-comer who plays your position who is currently setting the world on fire at the AAA minor league affiliate.

    As a result of the impeding transistion, you overreact to umpires’ calls, and you spend too much time bickering with hotel desk clerks when you’re on the road.

    With the exception of you, I’ve never heard of a “conservative” who believes that Obama’s re-election would be a GOOD thing.
    Then again, there isn’t a baseball fan who thinks that paying millions of dollars to an over-the-hill has-been outfielder who hits .217 is a wise decision, either.

    Unfortunately, America signed Obama to a four year contract…and you want to renew that contract.

    Goofball.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  42. WTF?! You are trying to out-idiot EPWJ.

    JD (8b4fa9)

  43. I guess it would be asking for too much to ask that you quote what you have attributed to me. You won’t, because you can’t. It is a figment of your imagination.

    JD (8b4fa9)

  44. Dana – Maher is about as cruddy a personality as has come along in a great while. The clown absolutely hates women.

    Colonel Haiku (494020)

  45. Is this the Twilight Zone?

    Gotta go eat some pasta. Marathon in the morning.

    JD (8b4fa9)

  46. JD,

    Put on some big boy pants…you know, to replace those Depends.

    If you believe that Romney is preferable to Obama, please go ahead and say so. You have the floor !

    But if you respond with another insult, then I think it’s fair to conclude you believe that Obama is preferable to Romney.

    Then again, if you’re already become sleepy from the Early Bird Special, some of us will understand. I imagine that split pea soup with crackers was pretty tasty !

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  47. You stated something the exact opposite of my beliefs, clown, then attributed it to me. EPWJ is jealous of you.

    JD (516dcc)

  48. I guess it would be asking for too much to ask that you quote what you have attributed to me. You won’t, because you can’t. It is a figment of your imagination.

    Comment by JD — 4/14/2012 @ 2:42 pm

    JD (516dcc)

  49. Wow JD –a half marathon AND the Cubs-Cards game? Busy day tomorrow. And the weather may be dicey. Be safe.

    elissa (eae9cf)

  50. The commenter class sure has gone down-hill since the days where I was a regular commenter here. I had to check twice just to make sure I wasn’t on Ace of Spades by accident. All these nonsensical attacks on JD by nonsensical people.

    There’s a movie starring a young Kirk Cameron entitled Listen To Me that I highly recommend. As Kirk is arguing Roe v Wade in a mock debate in front of a panel of Supreme Court justices, he provides a word-picture. (And I like word-pictures.) It went something like this:

    If you had a plan that would bring about permanent world peace and end suffering forever, and all that was required was to murder an innocent baby — that baby for instance (pointing at a baby in a young mother’s arms) — would you do it?

    About 4,000 years ago, Egypt tried it, successfully creating Passover 40 years later.

    About 2,000 years ago, Jewish leaders tried it, successfully creating Easter almost instantaneously.

    If someone gets very high approval marks from a Pro-Abort power-group, that someone will not get my vote. And that does not, in any way, mean I’m voting for the other person with very high approval marks from Pro-Abort power-groups.

    To suggest it does is fallacious, logic-free blather.

    John Hitchcock (cd0ded)

  51. Elissa – one is the excuse for the other ;-)

    JD (516dcc)

  52. The guy what’s been smokin’ powdered elephant toenails is right on some things — and hugely silly on some others.

    Icy (c05b13)

  53. 50: what does any of what you say have to do with Romney? Appologies if you weren’t referring to him

    Alex (31c567)

  54. Alex, check out Romney’s record in Massachusetts, and the “report cards” he’s gotten from said record.

    John Hitchcock (cd0ded)

  55. Another O-bot, this one doesn’t seem to know its been programmed! :-)

    Alex (31c567)

  56. And yes, Alex, I was indeed talking about you when I said the commenter class around here has deteriorated and begun to look like that mosh pit of a site Ace of Spades runs. Maybe someday you’ll learn to put down your indefensible logic fallacies and your shrill whistle and actually pay attention.

    It could happen.

    John Hitchcock (cd0ded)

  57. Ouch the anger is strong in this one, but the humor weak. I was teasing ya, but also annoyed by ya (more so now). Look if you love Obama vote for him, if you like him, just don’t vote. Your choice.

    Alex (31c567)

  58. IOWAHAWK: Apparently, I’m supposed to be more outraged by what Mitt Romney does with his money than by what Barack Obama does with mine.

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/140860/

    Colonel Haiku (bcabce)

  59. JD,

    In other words, you won’t mind if Obama gets re-elected.

    Fine, but why not just be straight-forward about it ?

    I know a lot of other like-minded old folks such as yourself who think that they’ll be pushed off the cliff in their wheelchair if Chairman Obama doesn’t get re-elected !

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  60. Here, Alex, since it’s so hard for you to read more than a few lines at a time, I’ll repeat for you.

    If someone gets very high approval marks from a Pro-Abort power-group, that someone will not get my vote. And that does not, in any way, mean I’m voting for the other person with very high approval marks from Pro-Abort power-groups.

    To suggest it does is fallacious, logic-free blather.

    Comprends tu?

    John Hitchcock (cd0ded)

  61. Given the economy, Obama has his work cut out for him in states like North Carolina and Nevada. My guess is Obama will once again try to make this election about Bush, as in “If you elect a Republican, he will do the same things Bush did.”

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  62. 60: I can read stupid things, and understand them. But generally I comment on them in detail. Sorry about that.

    Now if you do want me to explain why you post was so silly, I will. But you’ll have to ask nicely and promise to take the criticism constructively.

    Alex (31c567)

  63. When Eric Blair was running around these parts, he used to call the Alex & Elephant types “alphabetists.” He was right.

    John Hitchcock (cd0ded)

  64. Generally DON’T comment, typo, apologies.

    Alex (31c567)

  65. Sniff sniff. Paging Stashiu.

    elissa (eae9cf)

  66. Here, Alex, let me dumb it down for you since you cannot understand. If you want to vote for someone who supports baby-killing, you go right ahead. But don’t call me a baby-killer supporter just because I don’t support your baby-killer supporter.

    John Hitchcock (cd0ded)

  67. 66: I understood the first time. Don’t you understand that’s why I called the comment silly? You can keep repeating it, isn’t gonna be any less silly.

    Alex (31c567)

  68. JD,

    In other words, you won’t mind if Obama gets re-elected.

    LIE EPWJ wannabe

    JD (8b4fa9)

  69. This is just surreal

    JD (516dcc)

  70. I paraphrase:

    There’s never been a Presidential election that was a referendum on the acting President’s policies?

    Were you ALIVE in 2004?

    That election was SO much a referendum on the status of the War in Iraq that it’s not even funny.

    And it’s hardly new, but any historian nowadays would agree that, without Sherman’s success in the South on “Sherman’s March”, it is likely that the 1864 referendum on Lincoln’s conduct of the Civil War would have booted him out in favor of someone who was likely to settle with South and left us with a divided nation. There’s two examples right there. And if you don’t believe that the 1938 and 1942 elections weren’t referendums on FDR, you’re on drugs.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  71. mittens 2012: at least he’s not a communist!

    newrouter (b9b577)

  72. If one takes Klein and Kilgore seriously. this is what we get, of course they came up with the ‘Black Box in Ohio, to explain the margin,

    narciso (aedbc1)

  73. Blacks will vote for Obama at least by a 95-5 margin strictly on the basis of Obama’s skin color.

    NAwwww. That would be racist. Blacks can’t be racists!!


    For the (millions of) evangelical Christians who will stay home and sit out the election it neither will be a referendum on
    how ephing unbelievably retarded they are?

    The sentence wasn’t completed correctly. Glad I could fix that for ya.

    I got 7 months to change their minds.

    “Do you really, really believe that four years of Romney would be as bad or worse than four years of President Downgrade with no concern regarding re-election?”

    If they can’t answer that intelligently, just kill them. They’re already brain dead and in a perambulatory coma, and that should be readily and openly demonstrable in a court of Law.

    Not voting for Romney does not equal voting for Teh One. That is a BS construct

    If you are not utterly certain Romney is going to win without your vote, then yes, it is. You are increasing the chances for President Downgrade’s idiotic sycophants to carry the day, by not neutralizing one of their votes.

    Snort my taint, Random

    Ah, very good, a technical refutation of the assertion. Good work! I hope Team 0 puts you in charge of fisking the conservative broadsides. You will do a wonderful job.

    You should have quit after “I think”, Alex.

    You should have quit before “I Think”, since your response demonstrates absolutely no capacity in that regard.

    This is funny. I am a Paulbot, a paleocon, and a Obama supporter.

    No, read the above. You simply don’t think before you respond. That makes you a liberal. :D

    I like to bet on the position that is consistent with past performance.

    So your vote is for sale to the most likely winner? You would rather be in support of the winner rather than on the side of principles? Yep. More and more liberal with every utterance.

    You are almost cute, stoner.

    Ah, so you’re gay. Well, that explains a lot, sort of…

    Ultimately, he’s just trying to make a buck but apparently can’t do it on his own merits.
    and
    Bill Maher says she ‘never got her ass out of the house to work’

    Bill Mahar never got his head out of his ass to work. That pretty much explains the first part.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  74. Time is something that Hadden, not to mention Luce would be embarassed to be associated with now;

    http://ideas.time.com/2012/04/13/hillary-rosen-was-right-ann-romney-is-out-of-touc/

    narciso (aedbc1)

  75. I’m certain enough that Willard in Beltway pockets would be better than Lord of the Flies.

    This election for me, however, is a referendum on our political class.

    Lobot (d88477)

  76. JD has more integrity in his toenail clippings than Elephantitus.

    And he sure ain’t a moby.

    JD, be wary of new commenters trying to provoke you these days.

    Dustin (330eed)

  77. Of course, it’s a referendum on Obama, osn’t that clear, that’s why all the folderall about funemployment and complainversation, 1984 it’s a cookbook.

    narciso (aedbc1)

  78. I should know better, Dustin.

    JD (8b4fa9)

  79. Thanks narciso. Gotta love that TIME blogger doubling down on teh stupid.

    Icy (c05b13)

  80. Where did these guys come from?

    BTW, I have film of Obama and Ron Paul in a circle jerk. I’ll release it in October.

    nk (52d02a)

  81. If someone gets very high approval marks from a Pro-Abort power-group, that someone will not get my vote. And that does not, in any way, mean I’m voting for the other person with very high approval marks from Pro-Abort power-groups.

    To suggest it does is fallacious, logic-free blather.

    No, John, suggesting that there is any single, solitary issue currently on the books which will justify the position that one candidate is no better than the other is what is “fallacious, logic-free blather”. Regardless of Romney’s fuzzy position on Choice, it’s really, INCREDIBLY FUCKING OBVIOUS what President Downgrade’s position is.

    So, given that there are quite possibly going to be between one and three SCotUS slots open — and those mostly belong to CONSERVATIVE-oriented judges, you’re taking the preposterously irrational position that it doesn’t matter which man will be in charge of the selection process for those judges.

    The “fallacious, logic-free blather” required to even CONSIDER taking that stance is just flat-out MIND BOGGLING. To actually argue in favor of it is… words fail at how utterly dunderheaded the thought process are. And it’s **REALLY** an insult to call them “thought processes”.

    Comprends tu?

    Indeed… “Usted es un imbécil enorme”.

    Single issue voters always are.

    But you’ll have to ask nicely and promise to take the criticism constructively.

    Dude, he’s already demonstrated, by being a single-issue voter, that he’s a totally unmitigated dunderhead. So that ain’t gonna happen.

    If you want to vote for someone who supports baby-killing, you go right ahead. But don’t call me a baby-killer supporter just because I don’t support your baby-killer supporter.

    Dude, you are, because there is NO QUESTION whatsoever in any rational mind that the kind of justice that The Great Big 0 will select IS going to overturn Roe-v-Wade, no matter how much caterwauling happens — among other things because he will have no re-election worries.

    Even a moment’s rational consideration would grasp that Romney is far more of a chameleon overall, and going to put someone forward who is far more middle of the road almost certainly, and far less left leaning beyond any rational doubt.

    There’s just no WAY any other reasoning can apply.

    One way might or might not get you a justice who will provide more support for abortion than you like. The alternative WILL get you VASTLY more support for abortion than you can probably even GRASP.

    Either you’re an true idiot, or you’re not. If you don’t vote AGAINST Obama, you’re a true idiot. Because that IS the way to look at your vote — if you really despise Romney that much, you still have to see that he can’t be WORSE for your single issue than one of the few congressmen (now PotUS)

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  82. She’s the same who right after the election, was saying she had heard reports, ahem, of women dreaming about Obama, and I’ll leave it at that.

    narciso (aedbc1)

  83. Barack Obama NRLC rating: ** 0% **

    In Contrast:
    NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE ENDORSES GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY

    In summary, John
    Cranium {———–} Rectum
    In your case, much, much more separation is called for.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  84. 62. “Now if you do want me to explain why you post was so silly, I will. But you’ll have to ask nicely and promise to take the criticism constructively.”

    Someone writes pretty well for a preschooler.

    I’m supposed to tread lightly for fear I insult anyone anywhere. Well, I draw the line at gay divorce mommies that are DNC strategists and need full-body liposuction.

    Drop dead Hilaries.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  85. oops, got cut off there mid thought while researching the followup:

    …you still have to see that he can’t be WORSE for your single issue than one of the few congressmen (now PotUS) who, iirc §, openly expressed a belief in virtually NO LIMITs on abortions.

    § that was what I was researching, and could not find: an article I seem to recall in which he was one of like four votes yea/nay basically in support of some ridiculously absurd abortion position.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  86. There’s a whole host of insane position that were
    not explored to any degree

    http://voices.yahoo.com/barack-hussein-obama-jr-defends-partial-birth-abortion-102246.html?cat=9

    narciso (aedbc1)

  87. The one was in favor of infanticide in the case of a “botched” abortion. In fact, this was one of the few votes he actually was more than “present” for”. If the mother wanted the child dead, don’t let a little thing like breathing on its own outside of the uterus get in the way. It is her child fetus, as in she owns it and can do with it whatever she wants.

    Of course, for some of those who breathe the thin air of academic mountain tops, that can be seen as a rather pedestrian view. The real cutting edge is a twist on Rick Santorum’s argument with Sen. Boxer- if it’s not clear just how much out of the birth canal counts, then killing the ex-fetus outside of the womb should be no different than killing it in the womb. A baby snail is more of a snail than a baby human is a human, so baby snails are more important. That is taught at Princeton (but not by all of the faculty).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  88. Peter Singer, is just a vile human being, th hippocratic oath was designed presuming such thoughts would not occur to people.

    narciso (aedbc1)

  89. If some media outlets don’t get their acts together they may soon fall to yet more competition.

    We all know how expressive orangutans can be. Well, apparently that is because they tend to get bored kept inside during the cold winter months. Whats’s an ape to do, especially if all alone…

    Well, if one group of orangutan fans has their way, they will be communicating with each other from zoo to zoo via tablets. Apparently even orangutans that live in Germany and San Diego can communicate directly in their native language, without using Google translator or Babel fish (of course, maybe a lonely male in Minneapolis would like to learn French from an orangutan in Paris. Who knows?)

    While it may take a long time and many, many monkeys to reproduce Shakespeare, it should not take such a long time for some orangutans to come up with political commentary and observations on human nature/culture that will be more insightful than some of the things one can access on the web through a tablet at present. Orangutans are, after all, the most intelligent ape after humans. (Though one fellow in Columbus, Ohio challenges this. He claims that it should be obvious that killing a newborn ape of any variety is a bad thing to do and is ripping up his application to Princeton, no matter how inclusive their diversity applications process and commitment to financial aid for endangered species. He was heard to say he would rather commute to community college in Cleveland.)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  90. Abortion existing in the time of Hippocrates had its own special reasons. All the children having the right to divide the father’s estate, not leaving enough for anyone of them to buy the weapons and armor to stay in the hoplite (middle) class; birth being the biggest cause of death of healthy young women.

    Hell, just Hell. The evil that men do is the evil that makes us men.

    nk (52d02a)

  91. I was speaking of the general principle,that Ezekiel Emmanuel, fmr special advisor to the OMB
    also has qualms with, it’s a bearded spock world
    and we merely live in it.

    narciso (aedbc1)

  92. But Princeton also has Robert George.

    It is my understanding that the Hippocratic Oath was the commitment to medical ethics that a student of Hippocrates vowed. Other schools of medical thought had their own principles, not necessarily in agreement with Hippocrates. The Hippocratic Oath as it was known prior to the 20th century has been dismissed by the majority of the medical profession, whether the realize or admit it or not. Though some schools still pledge it at some point, it is obviously a version edited to the “sensibilities of the times”.
    There is at least one organization of “Hippocratic Physicians” in North America, demonstrating there is nothing new under the sun. At one time only a segment of physicians claimed to be “Of Hippocrates”, so it is again.

    Of course, all of that is from sources not in the original Greek, in case nk wants to clarify or correct.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  93. But I’m looking forward to seeing orangutans with tablets. Should provide hours of inserting quotes with pictures.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  94. I think Paul Giamatti, played one of those, in that ill considered ‘Apes’ remake,

    narciso (aedbc1)

  95. I have learned to say “attributed to” when it comes to things I have not seen with my own ears, MD. Historians say what I said about the decline of the Greek population — but there was also the cholera in Athens and the earthquake in Sparta. Quien sabe?

    nk (52d02a)

  96. I didn’t realize newcomers are not allowed to challenge “established” commenters about things they’ve written in the thread. But I think Harry Truman once said something about “heat” and “kitchen.”

    Oh, I get it…it’s like a speak-easy !

    (Knock-knock…pssst…I got the password, Jimmy!)

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  97. Bupkis, I’m not a one-issue voter. I also won’t vote for an anti-Zionist xenophobe, no matter his economic positions.

    I’m a strong national defense socon fiscon. I’m also a Tenther^2 (that’s Amendment and Commandment).

    And let the record show that, while Governor of MA, Romney got high marks from at least one big-name pro-abort group for his record as Governor. Not for promises, but for his actual record.

    The above word-picture from the movie Listen To Me still stands.

    John Hitchcock (cd0ded)

  98. Elephant, the next time you challenge JD about what he said in this thread will be the first time you challenge JD about what he said in this thread.

    John Hitchcock (cd0ded)

  99. “In many American kitchens it is not unusual for there to be quite a lot of heat produced due to the cooking processes used in food preparation. This is normal and nothing to be terribly concerned about I think.” – President Harry. S. Truman, Collected Musings

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  100. “And let the record show that, while Governor of MA, Romney got high marks from at least one big-name pro-abort group for his record as Governor.”

    John Hitchcock – Which group?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  101. Daley, as adj Dana will tell you, I’m admittedly poor at googling, so I didn’t find what I was looking for. But I did find this and this.

    John Hitchcock (cd0ded)

  102. “But I did find this and this.”

    John – I think people are pretty familiar with Romney’s positions over time and pledging to follow the law of the land as governor. I’m not terribly concerned about an awards ceremony at the Massachusetts Womens Political Caucus since it’s not a single issue group.

    Mitt did announce a firm pro-life position while governor and let the record show he did receive plaudits from pro-life groups.

    If you ever find what you were looking for, post a link.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  103. Elephant Stone, welcome!

    JD did NOT say whatever it is that you think he said. He is solidly against Obama.

    Icy (c05b13)

  104. Again, not what I was looking for, but heavily resourced.

    As a “Pro-family” Republican Candidate: by his undeniable record fully documented below, Mitt Romney:
    - created RomneyCare which is terribly similar to ObamaCare but even worse for it openly funds abortion
    - put Planned Parenthood on the so-called “independent” board he created that offers $50 co-pay abortions
    - thereby instituted tax-funded abortion on demand two years after his orchestrated “pro-life” conversion
    - as late as summer 2011 continues to defend aborting tens of thousands of kids (denying their God-given right to life)
    - supported destructive embryonic research after his false 2004 pro-life conversion
    - put a pro-abortion Democratic judge on the bench after Romney had claimed a pro-life conversion
    - fabricates a claim that a court ordered him to institute same-sex marriage, a travesty he committed did on his own
    - single-handedly instituted same-sex marriage and later fabricated a claim that a court ordered him to do so
    - bragged that he would continue to defend abortion “rights” after he claimed a pro-life conversion
    - denies responsibility for the 10-member board that funds abortion even though his executive branch filled 7 seats
    - pro-choice in ’94; pro-life in ’01; choice ’02; pro-life ’04; choice ’05; life in ’06; then funded abortion in ’06

    John Hitchcock (cd0ded)

  105. it’s my daddy and nebraska and jesus christ I think

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  106. Klein’s examples of potential referendum elections, 1976 and 1988, are poor examples. If 1976 was going to be a referendum on any president, it should have been on Ford, the incumbent running for re-election, rather than on Nixon, who had been out of office for over two years. And in 1988, the incumbent president was not running for re-election because he had already served two terms.

    However, when an incumbent is running for re-election, it makes a lot of sense for the election to be a referendum on the incumbent’s performance.

    Joshua (b9147f)

  107. #13 Tsar: It’s not the case that black people are going to vote 95-5 for Obama based on his skin color. Black people also gave overwhelming majorities of their votes to white Democratic candidates such as John Kerry (88-11 in 2004) and Al Gore (90-9 in 2000).

    In the 2004 Senate election in Illinois between Obama and Alan Keyes, black people voted for Obama by a 92-8 margin. If they had been voting on skin color, one would expect the margin to be a lot closer, because both candidates in that election were African-American.

    And here’s an even stronger example: in the 2006 election for governor of Pennsylvania, a white Democratic candidate (Ed Rendell) ran against a black Republican candidate (Lynn Swann). Rendell won among black voters by an 87-13 margin.

    Thus, it appears that a large percentage of black voters will vote for almost any Democratic candidate (regardless of that person’s race) over almost any Republican candidate (regardless of that person’s race). It’s party voting, not racial voting. Maybe a small percentage of black voters are influenced by the candidate’s race more than the candidate’s party affiliation, but they are much fewer.

    Joshua (b9147f)

  108. ‘The Susan B. Anthony List threw its support behind Mr. Romney in a morning news release and National Right-to-Life, the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization, followed suit with a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington.

    “Now is the time to unite behind Gov. Romney in order to defeat the most ideologically pro-abortion president in our nation’s history,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. She added that her group plans to spend $10 million to $12 million in Senate and presidential battleground states “mobilizing pro-life voters to ensure victory.”

    “The difference between Gov. Romney and President Obama couldn’t be clearer,” said Jane Abraham, chairwoman of the group’s board of directors.’

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=romney%20pro-life%20support&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDQQqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtontimes.com%2Fnews%2F2012%2Fapr%2F12%2Ftwo-pro-life-groups-endorse-romney%2F&ei=xLaKT4vTJ4afiQLS1uDPCw&usg=AFQjCNHoX51SFiPYrXyGld4O8RizqfSTYw&cad=rja

    Colonel Haiku (750e95)

  109. Sarah Silverman tweets ‘before-and-after abortion’ photos… cuz, ya know, that’s funny!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2129490/Got-quickie-aborsh-Comedienne-Sarah-Silverman-supports-pro-choice-debate-tweeting-abortion-photos.html

    Colonel Haiku (750e95)

  110. Abortion is a losing issue. It’s always been around, and it will stay around. Mother Nature does a million times more of them than Planned Parenthood. Except She calls it miscarriage. Go hunting where the ducks are. The economy and one of our young men dying every day somewhere overseas.

    nk (52d02a)

  111. colonel will soon add
    0bama Teh Bobblehead
    to his collection

    Colonel Haiku (750e95)

  112. Perhaps we could employ the media to keep reminding everyone that 0bama is a white African-American.

    Colonel Haiku (750e95)

  113. teh Flash of Anger®
    teh cocked head both stock-in-trade
    of Narcissist Won

    Colonel Haiku (750e95)

  114. “In the year 2525
    If man is still alive
    If woman should survive
    They’ll only be twelve months away from paying off Obama’s 2011 budget deficit…”

    - Mark Steyn

    Colonel Haiku (750e95)

  115. Indie surrender monkeys will be one-for-one mitigated by Republican traitors in going third party, write-in, or doing something else November 6th.

    A modern record for depressed turnout in the bargain.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  116. iowahawkblog “Listening to Axelrod talk about the economy is like listening to a 5-year old explain where babies come from. Adorable!”

    Colonel Haiku (750e95)

  117. The country is divided so this will probably be a close election, but sometimes I wonder if we’ll look back on 2012 and say the toughest races were in the primaries.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  118. “Again, not what I was looking for, but heavily resourced.”

    John Hitchcock – Thanks for checking. The piece may be heavily sourced, but it is also about as misleading as a typical Think Progress post. For example:

    -created RomneyCare which is terribly similar to ObamaCare but even worse for it openly funds abortion
    - thereby instituted tax-funded abortion on demand two years after his orchestrated “pro-life” conversion

    Two overlapping claims which misleadingly ignore precedents set in Massachusetts law prior to RomneyCare.

    “The Annenberg Foundation’s nonpartisan FactCheck.org just delivered a powerful rebuke to the basic honesty of a McCain mailer used in South Carolina (and defended by Sen. McCain after reporters called it to his attention).

    “In particular, FactCheck.org called McCain’s assertion that Mitt Romney “provided” taxpayer-funded abortions “simply false.”

    “ “Romney never pushed for taxpayer funding for abortions. The state law he signed provided greatly expanded state-subsidized health insurance for low-income residents,” Factcheck.org explained. An independent body — the Commonwealth Connector — not Romney, decided that abortions would be covered (a move required by two Massachusetts state supreme court rulings).”

    http://townhall.com/columnists/maggiegallagher/2008/01/16/mccain_no_more_mr_straight_talk

    “As for the claim that “Romney signed government mandated health care with taxpayer-funded abortions,” that, too, is overblown. The state health care law didn’t say anything about abortion. Instead, the state exchange later decided that subsidized insurance plans would include coverage for abortion. And the exchange may have had little choice but to do so. In 1981, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that women eligible for Medicaid had a state constitutional right to payments for medically necessary abortions. In 1997, the state high court again ruled that Massachusetts must cover medically necessary abortions if it covers other medically necessary care, such as childbirth…

    “But it’s not true that he signed a law that included “taxpayer-funded abortions.”

    http://factcheck.org/2012/01/gingrichs-baloney-filled-attacks-on-romney/

    - put Planned Parenthood on the so-called “independent” board he created that offers $50 co-pay abortions

    I don’t know what the word “put” means, but I have not been able to track down who named Planned Parenthood to a non-voting, advisory health care committee in Massachusetts, the legislature, Gov. Romney, or other folks. Romney signed the legislation. If you have any information about who actually put forward Planned Parenthood’s name for the non-voting, advisory role, I would love to hear about it.

    - supported destructive embryonic research after his false 2004 pro-life conversion

    Romney vetoed Democrat bills regarding embryonic stem cell research. His position was that life should not be created to be destroyed, but was willing to allow surplus embryos be used for research, a position not strict enough for many pro-life groups.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  119. david axelrod
    get down with your silly self!
    been dazed and confused

    http://youtu.be/xFUYhN3ikxI

    Colonel Haiku (b91955)

  120. The above word-picture from the movie Listen To Me still stands.

    Dude, no matter HOW bad you expect Romney to be, there is no way in HELL he is going to be any worse than a second term President Downgrade with no re-election concerns.

    NONE.

    If you cannot refute that, there is no possible justification for not voting against The Great Big 0.

    And that means voting for Romney, because anything else is a **wasted vote**.

    Romney got high marks from at least one big-name pro-abort group for his record as Governor.

    And yet, as I *DID* find for you, a fairly significant pro-life organization openly endorses Romney at this point.

    Any other vote is a vote to overturn Roe-v-Wade, because Obama WILL replace conservative judges with ultra-liberal twits. PERIOD.

    It’s party voting, not racial voting. Maybe a small percentage of black voters are influenced by the candidate’s race more than the candidate’s party affiliation, but they are much fewer.

    If race is a factor at all, then it’s racial voting — and racist voting as well.

    95-5 – Obama
    88-11 – John Kerry
    90-9 – Al Gore

    Clearly, race is a factor. An 80% decrease is nothing to sneeze at.

    Abortion is a losing issue.

    Ah, so you’ve realized you’ve lost the argument, so you want to change the venue.

    This isn’t about abortion pro-or-con. It’s about which one would be less pro-abortion, which does matter to some strongly religious conservatives. This isn’t going to affect the middle-of-the-road voters, since most of them actually don’t have a problem with a middle-of-the-road position on choice-vs-non-choice, as opposed to President Downgrade’s all-abortions-all-the-time stance.

    Hell, President Downgrade would probably support post-natal abortion up to one year if he thought it could get passed. A shame his mother didn’t.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  121. 122. “there is no possible justification for not voting against The Great Big 0.

    And that means voting for Romney, because anything else is a **wasted vote**.”

    Sorry, convincing you that a vote on a line other than BHO or WMR is justified is a complete waste of time.

    Fault for our being in this mess devolves to at least 70% of the population–those voting for McVain, McBain or Jugears last primary season.

    Getting your fat azz out of this crisis does not of itself require a particular action on my part.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  122. “The choice in this election is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead, and their kids a chance to get ahead, and an economy that continues down the road we’re on.”

    - the unwitting David Axelrod endorses Mitt Romney

    Colonel Haiku (bcc59f)


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